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Senior Living Apartments

Ken Teegardin Written by Ken Teegardin
SeniorLiving.Org Expert on Chief Editor | Caregiver

For seniors looking for a low-maintenance, lower cost lifestyle, a senior living apartment may be the ideal community. Senior living apartments provide amenities such as housekeeping, dining, and activities that make life easier and more enjoyable.

Senior Living Apartments

Who Lives in Senior Living Apartments?
The profile of those residing in senior living apartments varies. Some have been renters all their lives. Others have sold their homes looking for a place that requires little effort. Here’s a sampling of what you may find:

  • Those looking for no home and yard maintenance.
  • The recently divorced
  • Those wanting the freedom to travel without having to worry about the property back home.
  • Those relocating to be closer to friends and family
  • Those widows or widowers needing to downsize
  • Those looking for a lower cost situation (no property taxes, no maintenance, upkeep, etc.)
  • Those who want to be around their peers 

Senior Living Apartment Qualifications
These communities are usually age-restricted for those 55 or 62-years-old and older. The U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) and the Housing for Older Persons Act says that housing must include at least one person who is 55 or older in at least 80 percent of the occupied units, regulates these communities. This means one spouse can be under the required age.

HUD makes exceptions for those under the minimum age if the person is handicapped. Also, those under 19 cannot be permanent residents. These communities are usually noted as “age-qualified” in their marketing brochures. 

Types of Senior Living Apartments

There are generally three pricing categories of senior living apartments—affordable, market rate, and luxury—though you may not find all three in every market.

The definition of affordable senior living apartments changes from community to community because of the local cost of living. In general, affordable means that a renter pays no more than 30% of their income on rent and utilities. A combination of federal, state and local laws provide other determining factors as well as provide funding.

Qualified residents can receive vouchers that enable them to rent in certain senior living apartment communities.

Market rate senior living apartments are offered at competitive rates, which are usually about 15% below regular apartment rates. These complexes typically offer senior-related amenities such as community dining, housekeeping and transportation.

Luxury senior living apartments for many seniors may be their second home and are often located in cities close to cultural activities. They are larger, up to 2,000 square feet, and provide dozens of upscale amenities for their residents.  

Senior Living Apartment Amenities
Amenities will vary from complex to complex, but in general, you’ll find the following:

  • One and Two bedroom options from 600 to 900 square feet
  • Choice of private or shared apartments
  • The option of fully furnished apartments
  • Large walk-in showers with safety features
  • Individual climate control
  • Common areas in the complex with TV and living room
  • Community dining room with meals prepared 2-3 times a day
  • Smoke detectors, fire alarms and sprinkler systems
  • Computer work stations
  • Laundry rooms with washers and dryers

Other amenities offered at a premium may include:

  • Onsite pharmacy with delivery and access to a pharmacist
  • Recreational and educational activities programs including walking, Tai Chi, Yoga, and trips to cultural events.
  • Transportation for shopping, local attractions, medical appointments, church, etc.
  • Housekeeping including linen and laundry service
  • 24-hour emergency call systems
  • 24-hour emergency staff
  • Daily bed-making

Selecting a Senior Living Apartment
So you’ve found a few senior living apartment communities online. Now what? Set up a tour and consider these questions when you make your visit.

  • Are staff and residents friendly?
  • Talk with the residents. Are they happy living there? What do they like and dislike about it? Are their needs being met?
  • Do residents use the common areas?
  • Are the grounds well kept?
  • Are there conveniences (shopping, activities, etc.) in the area?
  • Are you within walking distance to any of these?
  • Are there walking trails nearby?
  • Does the neighborhood seem safe?
  • Is there handicap access?
  • Is the parking convenient and safe—well lit at night and close to the complex
  • Are the apartment floor plans livable?
  • Can the interior be painted colors of your choice?
  • Are there safety features like a 24-hour alert system, smoke detectors, sprinkler system, etc?
  • Will the shower/tub meet your present and future needs?
  • Are there grab bars in the shower/tub?
  • Is there adequate storage space?
  • Are the counters and cupboards convenient?
  • What additional service or activities are provided for? What are the extra costs?
  • Is there a pool, clubhouse, activities schedule posted, etc.?
  • Do they accept subsidies or rent vouchers? 

Senior living apartments can be ideal living options for seniors looking for an inexpensive, low maintenance lifestyle. To find senior living apartments in your area, search’s  state and local directory.

To see more related senior living options, check out our “ Introduction to Senior Living” article or our introduction to" Independent Living communities".

Additional Resources

All these options are for people who need very little support but want to make a smooth transition into senior living.

Give Us Your Comments About This Page. This area is not for asking for help .


[4] Comments... Read them below.
teresa wang On Jul 5, 2017

homeless senior looking for affordable senior living in urgent I am 63 years old befifet in SSDI please help help

Hello Teresa  ,
We are sorry to hear about this. Kindly do check out the following resources to get the help you require:
This program helps very low-income families, the elderly, and people with disabilities afford housing in the private market.
Inventory of Multifamily Units - This inventory lists the multifamily properties from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) that are available to the elderly and/or people with disabilities. Use the low-rent apartment search tool for help.
Eldercare Locator - This site offers information and resources on housing options for older adults.
Plus some others worth exploring:
The National Institute on Aging (NIA) provides contact information for groups that have information for or help older people. You may contact the NIA at (1-800-222-2225) or TTY (1-800-222-4225). 
Trust that these are of some help to you.
Brenda Branc On Jun 17, 2017

I'm not 55 yat , but I'm disable and need a apartment , I'm 61 year old pleas help me. section-8.

Hi Brenda,
If you are over 60 years, please check out the following links to get more information as to how you can apply and establish your disability first, before enquiring about other facilities and services to help you with your disability.
Glenda Kimble On Jun 13, 2017

Information very helpful. ??Husband and I are looking downside gracefully.

Robert Villarreal On May 3, 2017

This apartment is for my mom she needs an efficiency or 1 bedroom apartment